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Automotive News

Artificial intelligence wins big at Mercedes-Benz SA Innovation Challenge

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2017 Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions secured big wins at the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) Innovation Challenge, held on November 10. The winners were announced following a judging process by a panel that included representatives from MBSA’s parent company, German car maker Daimler. 

New $200 000 Tesla Roadster speeds in front of electric big-rig truck

By: Reuters     17th November 2017 Tesla Inc upstaged its own debut of an electric heavy duty truck on Thursday when a red Roadster pulled out of the big rig’s trailer and Chief Executive Elon Musk said the new $200 000 sports car would be the fastest production car ever. The showmanship wowed the crowd although some analysts’... 

Cobalt hedging not mining the route for VW in EV drive

By: Reuters     17th November 2017 Volkswagen is not looking to secure long-term supplies of cobalt, a key ingredient of electric-car batteries, by investing in mines, a senior official at the automaker said. Demand for cobalt is expected to soar as carmakers rush to embrace electric vehicles (EVs) in response to governments... 

Nissan South Africa confident of delivering on long-awaited investment promise in 2018

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2017 Vehicle manufacturer Nissan in 2012 confirmed plans to invest R1-billion in its Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria, to build a new one-ton pick-up, with capacity at the plant to be increased to around 100 000 units a year. Local production of the new model was set to start in 2014. 

Nissan South Africa confident of delivering on long-awaited investment promise in 2018

Outlook for vehicle market hinges on political landscape – bank

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2017 It is impossible to accurately forecast where the new-vehicle market will end the year, or what the 2018 market will look like, says Standard Bank Vehicle and Asset Finance (VAF) group head Simphiwe Nghona. “Everything hinges on the political landscape. Anything can happen in the last quarter.... 

Investigative unit lauded for role in recovering hijacked trucks

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2017 During the 2016 financial year, Imperial Logistics investigated 86 cases of truck hijackings with a value of more than R134-million. A dedicated Imperial Logistics investigation team successfully recovered more than 90% worth of trucks, trailers and vehicles, says Imperial Logistics chief... 

Ford investing R3bn to expand Ranger production in Silverton

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2017 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is investing R3-billion ($220-million) in expanding Ranger production at its Silverton plant, in Pretoria. The plant builds the Everest sports-utility vehicle and Ranger pickup, with the latter exported to 148 markets. 

Nissan SA confident of delivering on long-awaited investment promise in 2018

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2017 Vehicle manufacturer Nissan in 2012 confirmed plans to invest R1-billion in its Rosslyn plant, in Pretoria, to build a new one-ton pickup, with capacity at the plant to be increased to around 100 000 units a year. Local production of the new model was set to start in 2014. 

Nissan SA confident of delivering on long-awaited investment promise in 2018

South African van market continues to underperform

By: Irma Venter     17th November 2017 The total South African new van market currently ranges between 19 000 and 20 000 units a year, estimates Mercedes-Benz Vans Southern Africa VP Nadia Trimmel. “Historically, the market used to be between 22 000 and 23 000 units, but this year we do not expect it to break 20 000. The general... 

City of Johannesburg mulls electric bus pilot project 


By: Irma Venter     16th November 2017 The City of Johannesburg hopes to conclude a near-term feasibility study on the use of battery electric and fuel-cell buses by the end of 2019. With this done, it could be possible to introduce an electric bus to the city’s bus fleet in a pilot implementation project in 2023, says City of... 

City of Johannesburg mulls electric bus pilot project 


CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2017 The CSIR Energy Centre has published updated research outcomes indicating that South Africa’s least-cost electricity mix, by 2050, includes predominantly solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind contributing nearly 80% of the country’s electrical energy. The research outcomes, which were released... 

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Mercedes-Benz to challenge commuter bus market with entry-level product

By: Irma Venter     15th November 2017 Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) has launched an entry-level Mercedes-Benz commuter bus aimed at fleet operators such as Putco and Golden Arrow Bus Services. The OF-1723 (pronounced 17-23) bus chassis is currently imported from the Daimler plant in India, but should be assembled... 

Mercedes-Benz to challenge commuter bus market with entry-level product

Cartrack reaches subscriber milestone

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th November 2017 Fleet management, stolen vehicle recovery and insurance telematics services provider Cartrack has reached 700 000 active subscribers, it said on Wednesday. The JSE-listed company attributed the robust subscriber growth to its dedicated workforce focusing on consistent customer engagement and the... 

Hydrogen could deliver one fifth of world carbon cuts by 2050 – industry group

By: Reuters     14th November 2017 Increasing the use of hydrogen in power, transport, heat and industry could deliver around one fifth of the total carbon emissions cuts needed to limit global warming to safe levels by mid-century, a report by the Hydrogen Council said on Monday. To encourage industries to use hydrogen, Toyota... 

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA announces three-car line-up for Dakar 2018

By: Irma Venter     13th November 2017 Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa (SA) has announced a three-car line-up for Dakar 2018. All three vehicles have been produced in South Africa. The Japanese manufacturer first fielded a Toyota Hilux in the Dakar rally in 2012. The team could not secure a podium position in 2017, following its... 

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA announces three-car line-up for Dakar 2018
The Dakar 2018 Hilux

Peugeot launches joint venture to build cars in Algeria

By: Reuters     13th November 2017 Peugeot maker PSA Group signed a joint venture with three Algerian partners to launch a manufacturing unit building cars for the Algerian market, it said on Sunday. The French carmaker said it would hold 49% of the joint venture's capital, representing a total investment of around €100-million... 

Auto aftermarket franchises earn R32bn in turnover, create 5 573 new jobs

By: Irma Venter     10th November 2017 The number of franchised systems (or business networks) within the automotive aftermarket has grown from 60 in 2012, to 79 in 2017, shows the 2017 Franchise Factor report. Thirty of the 79 systems tallied this year are new franchised systems. The automotive franchise aftermarket has also seen the... 

 Auto aftermarket franchises earn R32bn in turnover, create 5 573 new jobs
Bendeta Gordon

Automotive skills centre a beacon of hope for empowering youth, industry

By: Dylan Slater     10th November 2017 The Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) is essential to bridging the human resource development challenge in South Africa and the growth of an effective, competitive and sustainable industry, says Deputy President and permanent Human Resource Development Council of South Africa (HRDC)... 

Automotive skills centre a beacon of hope for empowering youth, industry
Photo by Dylan Slater
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Maintenance and upgrades on cards for Platinum Corridor in 2018

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) private concessionaire Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Bakwena) will conduct several maintenance and construction projects along the South African N1/N4 routes in 2018. 

Maintenance and upgrades on cards for Platinum Corridor in 2018
Photo by Duane Daws
LIAM CLARKE Construction of a second carriageway on the N4 between the M17 and the R512 will start in January 2018

Bearings company recommends predictive maintenance

By: Victor Moolman     10th November 2017 With predictive maintenance practices intended to help establish the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance is required, engineering consumables and components distributor BMG operations manager Rouff Essop explains that predictive maintenance reduces downtime thus... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable-energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years, with multiple rounds... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right
PRODUCTION EXPANSION While Tetra4 already produces compressed natural gas, new expansions will include the liquefaction of the gas – the first in South Africa

Innovative system uses truck engine to refrigerate cold trailers

By: Irma Venter     10th November 2017 Eqstra Flexi Fleet, a division of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics, has partnered with New Way, Ice Cold Bodies, and Javgro Transport Refrigeration Solutions to design a cold trailer that will run “80% to 90% of the time” using power from the truck engine, says Javgro MD Kenan Gröss. In... 

Clean-fuel delay to crimp SA’s access to latest vehicle technology

By: Irma Venter     10th November 2017 The delay in the introduction of clean fuels in South Africa will halt the flow of new vehicle technology to South Africa, warns the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). “With the widespread introduction of new technology, including new four-way... 

Bloodhound ‘is go’, supersonic car driver announces

By: Irma Venter     10th November 2017 “We came to show the world Bloodhound is go,” says Bloodhound supersonic car (SCC) driver Andy Green. The Bloodhound in October proved to be top dog as it successfully concluded its first official run, stretching its legs at 200 mph (322 km/h) on the Newquay Airport runway, in Cornwall, in the UK. 

Custom-designed bearing housing supplied to West African gold mine

     10th November 2017 Bearing parts supplier SKF South Africa (SKF) has supplied a custom designed heavy-duty bearing housing assembly and two IMX-S conditioning monitoring systems for a 12 MW semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill currently operating on a gold mine in West Africa. “This is the first combination online... 

Custom-designed bearing housing supplied to  West African gold mine
BEARINGS The company has over 17 000 distributors located across the world

BMW M sales expected to have another record year

By: Irma Venter     10th November 2017 BMW M sales should reach another record this year, says BMW M sales and marketing VP Peter Quintus. He says the German car maker’s performance brand sold 67 900 units last year, up 9% compared with 2015 numbers. Sales last year comprised 37 500 M automobiles and 30 400 M performance automobiles. 

Uber reaches almost 1-million users in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     9th November 2017 The longest Uber trip on record in sub-Saharan Africa happened in South Africa this year – 3 190 km from Cape Town to Durban, via Bloemfontein. The electronic ride hailing service does not disclose why the journey was made. The Uber app does, however, provide an estimated cost for the journey, at... 

Uber reaches almost 1-million users in South Africa

Volvo Financial Services launches in South Africa

By: Irma Venter     8th November 2017 Volvo Financial Services (VFS), the global finance arm of the Volvo Group, has announced the launch of Volvo Financial Services Southern Africa. VFS Southern Africa will provide financial services to customers of Volvo Group Southern Africa, which includes the UD Trucks, Volvo Bus, Volvo Trucks... 

Volvo Financial Services launches in South Africa
Torbjörn Christensson

BAW introduces SA assembled diesel taxi

By: Irma Venter     8th November 2017 Beijing Automotive Works South Africa (BAW SA) will test a new diesel minibus taxi in the local market through sales at four selected dealers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast. Should the market accept the vehicle, availability would grow to most of the 28 BAW... 

BAW introduces SA assembled diesel taxi
The BAW Sasuka Diesel minibus

Uber bullish on Africa despite opposition from local taxi firms

By: Reuters     7th November 2017 Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber's service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as... 

BAIC SA appoints new CFO

By: Anine Kilian     6th November 2017 BAIC South Africa (SA) has appointed Batandwa Mdyesha CFO, with immediate effect. She was previously the CFO of State-owned mining company African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation. 

Ford, BMW, Daimler and VW launch JV to enable long-distance electric vehicle travel

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi and Porsche, have announced Ionity as a joint venture (JV) that will develop and implement a high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe. Ionity will launch 400 HPC stations by 2020. 

Ford, BMW, Daimler and VW launch JV to enable long-distance electric vehicle travel

Ford invests R3bn to expand Ranger production, build Raptor locally

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is investing R3-billion ($220-million) in expanding Ranger production at its Silverton plant, in Pretoria. The plant builds the Everest sports-utility vehicle and Ranger pickup, with the latter exported to 148 markets. 

Ford invests R3bn to expand Ranger production, build Raptor locally
The Silverton plant

Eicher trucks to be assembled in Rosslyn

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 Eicher trucks will be assembled in South Africa in less than 12 months, says VE Commercial Vehicles South Africa (VECV SA) country head Surender Singh. “The project has a one-year lead time. We are currently in discussions to make it happen.” 

Hino targets bigger share of heavy commercial vehicle market

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 The new Hino 500 series should assist Hino South Africa (SA) to increase its share of the South African heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) market from 18% to around 22%, 23%, says Hino SA VP Ernie Trautmann. A new 6 X 4 model should also allow the new 500 series to “play in the extra-heavy commercial... 

Chinese truck brand aims to grow SA sales as it expands offering

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 Powerstar sold around 420 trucks in South Africa last year, with the Chinese brand aiming for 500 units this year, says Everstar Industries CEO Bob Wang. The growth will come from the brand expanding its product portfolio from the extra-heavy and heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV, HCV) segments to... 

Portfolio of BEVs on offer in SA expected to expand materially by 2020

By: Irma Venter     3rd November 2017 There could be roughly ten battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on sale in the South African market by 2020, estimates Audi South Africa (SA) head Trevor Hill. There are currently two: The Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. Audi will launch its C-BEV sports utility vehicle in South Africa in 2019. To date,... 

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